When a law enforcement officer refuses to enforce the law and can rely on the president to pardon the infraction, does that not elevate the executive branch above all others? Trump encouraged law enforcement officers to abuse people in their custody (full on Jerry Seinfeld why are they so careful getting the guy in the back of the cruiser?). Can police officers expect to be pardoned when charged with brutality? Will they be guaranteed their jobs even after killing a suspect? What is the point of having laws (or a court system) if one branch of the government can decide what should be legal by pardoning infractions they don’t like.

Sure there are mitigating circumstances that may diminish the severity of the infraction, mandatory sentencing produced people whose ‘time’ in no way fit their ‘crime’, some people are amazingly reformed after the commission of their crime. Hell, the law could change five years into your term rendering your infraction a perfectly legal activity. Some people deserve a break. Would it not be better to allow the judicial system to redress these scenarios? Mechanisms to do so are already in place — parole reduces the effective sentence, but the individual retains a criminal record. Expunction seals the record and generally means the individual does not need to disclose the conviction.

And not that I believe Trump is in the least bit concerned about people whose rights were trampled by Arpaio? What redress do they have? The purported ideology does not care who is damaged in the pursuit of illegal immigrants. And that is what makes this particular pardon so offensive. In the ‘war on drugs’, cops abused people in poor neighborhoods. Evidence was planted to convict those who were known to be dealers. What would have happened if Reagan had just pardoned those officers?

We watched a lot of movies when building Windstream. A lot. We were splitting an eDirectory tree, and a couple of servers each night would be moved. I ran the support bridge for the split, and needed a way to get a good number of people to volunteer to work 6p-2a six days a week with no overtime. Accomplished this by having free dinner, snacks, and movies. I didn’t own that many DVDs, so people volunteered to bring their collection too. It was a lot of fun (some of the techs ringing into the bridge would get the same DVD going and watch with us), and I got to see a lot of movies I wouldn’t have known existed. One of those movies was an early 70’s movie based on a mid 60’s book: Colossus: The Forbin Project. Pardoning Arpaio makes me think of the movie — the premise was essentially that the US government commissioned a computer system to control the country’s nuclear arsenal with the goal of preserving world peace because computers do not suffer human foibles such as irrational emotional responses. The computer accomplished it’s goal … by using the nuclear arsenal to blackmail humanity into peace (either you stop fighting or I start nuc’ing you until you concede). Same lack of constraint or morality. It doesn’t matter how many people are tortured or killed, as long as the objective is met.

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